You Can Enter the First Beauty Pageant Judged by Robots


Is there an objective algorithm for beauty? (Photo: Courtesy of Beauty.AI)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder — but what happens if the eye is made of algorithms? Beauty.AI, a new beauty pageant judged by only robots, hopes to used artificial intelligence to determine Miss Robot Universe, a pageant free of human errors like that of Steve Harvey’s. According to the introductory video, robots will look at the picture taken with a standardized app, and compare the picture with “millions of others.” “They will evaluate the main features, including symmetry and skin color, wrinkles, and many other parameters affecting our perception of your beauty, and rank you within your age group, race, and gender,” the video explains. The competition, launched by a Hong Kong-based corporation called Wayco International Limited, is sponsored by Microsoft, Model Alliance, Nvidia, Cyber Future, Youth Laboratories, and RYNKL. “The team’s challenge is to find effective ways to slow down ageing and help people look healthy and beautiful,” the website states. Winners will be crowned on January 28. Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, the research lead at Beauty.AI and co-founder of RYNKL, a wrinkle-analysis app, tells Yahoo Beauty that the contest will be run every three months, with a shifting robot jury each time.

To enter the competition as a human, your entry selfie must involve no makeup, no glasses, and no beard. Of course, we assume that Beauty.AI is talking about heavy glamazon beauty makeup — we’d be very impressed to find a robot that can detect no makeup-makeup in a selfie. Aspiring beauty queens and kings have until January 15 to enter.

But if you don’t think you’re beauty pageant material — you can still participate in the contest as a data or computer scientist. Beauty.AI is also asking for robots to enter the competition as judges. Data scientists are encouraged to submit their algorithms for “evaluating” wrinkles, face symmetry, skin color, gender, age group, and ethnicity. “One of the algorithms is RYNKL, a sophisticated system for tracking the age-related changes. This algorithm is using a machine learning technique called deep learning to evaluate the various age-related features of the person’s face,” Zhavoronkov says. “Another algorithm developed by Model Alliance is comparing people’s faces to some of the famous models, both male and female, and finding common features. Another algorithm is evaluating the symmetry of the face in the context of many other parameters.” There may be other algorithms used, but they won’t be ready for the first pageant. The deadline for bots is January 20. “We hope that Beauty.AI 2.0 will also evaluate person’s personal profile to evaluate intelligence and behavior,” Zhavoronkov adds.

“The world of artificial intelligence is affecting all aspects of our daily life. The beauty industry is no exception,” the introductory video explains. The website states that “AI will judge how beautiful you are” but perhaps we should remember that algorithms are written by man, too.


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